Dating Mistake 101: Stop Expecting People To Read Your Mind

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): singleinseattlegirlstop

Comment: I met this guy online, we went put a few times, 5 dates to be exact. We had a few communication issues, and a few small arguments. He told me to be his girlfriend on our first date, I didn’t agree but told I’m let’s take it slow and let things develop naturally. While we dated though I didn’t feel like he was treating me right with his words and gestures, which sort of hurt me a little because i really liked him but after our 5th date I decided to leave and stopped responding to his texts.

A month later he contacted me and asked to meet. we met and I told him that I left because I wasn’t happy. We had a nice conversation and he asked to see each other again the following Friday after I returned from a work thing.

I txt from the airport saying my phone would be switched off while I was traveling and gave him my email if he wanted to stay in touch  (had learned from past communication problems with him).

However he did not email me in the 6 days I was gone. for some reason I felt uncomfortable so decided to cancel our Friday date.

I turned on my phone abroad and sent him a txt sayìng I had to stay back for work and proposed 2 alternative dates  I was available. His reply simply said no problem thanks for letting me know, hope all is going well. To which I quickly shot back all is well, hope it is with you too!

I feel horrible about missing our date but probably good because I was jetlagged and it wouldn’t have gone well anyways. I suck when I’ve had no sleep.

since then no communication from him. That was a week back. I thought sending two reschedule dates and explanation of work should have been enough. I don’t think any person should expect another to drop work and take a 8000 mile journey back so they don’t miss a date.

I think I may have messed up but in my defense I was in another country and I offered a reschedule, what do you think?
Age: 40
City: seattle
State: WA


He told me to be his girlfriend on our first date,

Everything after this is irrelevant to the story. He told you to be his girlfriend on the first date. Between “told” and “first date” every alarm bell in my body is clanging.


That is simply not normal behavior. People with options don’t do that. The only folks who behave with this kind of urgency are ones who struggle to find mates. Based on what you’ve said in your letter, I think I know why he’s had trouble securing a relationship.

for some reason I felt uncomfortable so decided to cancel our Friday date.

You didn’t feel uncomfortable, you were offended because he didn’t contact you while you were out of the country. To pay him back for not reading your mind, you cancelled the date. He probably didn’t email you while you were away because he a) wasn’t all that interested or b) didn’t want to seem too clingy. His decision not to message you while you were out of the country shouldn’t have automatically been a mark against him. I think many people in his shoes would have done the same thing.

I don’t think any person should expect another to drop work and take a 8000 mile journey back so they don’t miss a date.

I don’t think that’s what he expected. You made up a lie about why you couldn’t make the date because you were pissed. Now you’re flustered because you think he believed your lie. You fabricated a reason to cancel the date with the intention of hurting his feelings. Now you’re holding that desired reaction against him. That’s a little crazy, don’t you think?  Forgetting for a moment that this guy suggested you and he be exclusive after one date, you’re the one who is in the wrong here.

You’re assuming his nose is out of joint because you cancelled on him when it sounds to me like he didn’t really care one way or the other. I think he’s not rescheduling because he wasn’t all that psyched about seeing you again in the first place.

For two people who barely know each other, there’s a alarming level of drama going on here. You’re not even a couple yet and you’re fighting and breaking up and getting back together. Girl, no. That’s not how it’s supposed to work.




Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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13 Responses to “Dating Mistake 101: Stop Expecting People To Read Your Mind”

  1. BostonRobin Says:

    LW, do you even like this guy? The letter is all about how you both kept arguing and you don’t think he treated you well enough. Nothing about how he makes you “feel like a kid again,” or whatever people are calling chemistry these days. Also? Your email story has holes. You emailed to cancel and he didn’t reply, I’m guessing. Then you turned on your phone to engage him in texts, perhaps to recover? Why not just include these alternate dates in the original email, along with a sincere apology for not being able to make it.

    The drama and games! It’s a two-edged sword, you know. Especially when your target catches on.

  2. Fyodor Says:

    What does she want here? It seems like a lot people write in with these failed relationship/dating stories so that they can be told that it’s the other person’s fault.

  3. Bill Says:

    OP, I agree with Moxie’s opinion, telling you to be his girlfriend on the first date should have ended things, right there, no second date. But, there were four more, a “break-up” and a re-connect, so…

    You are non-specific about the “communication” issue, but reading between the lines, it sounds like he was blowing up you phone with needy text messaging the first time around. You spelled this out to him AND made it specifically clear that you wouldn’t be texting at all while on your business trip. So, he hasn’t communicated at all, not even via the email address you gave him.

    I’ll take a leap and guess this guy is a science/tech type who leans towards the Sheldon Cooper school of social graces. If so, you will likely need to “train” him by taking the lead on the frequency and length of communications between face-to-face meetings and dates. That means for you to initiate, and if he gets too chatty, to break it off with “gotta run”.

    Or, you can take Moxie’s advice and deep-six the whole thing. This guy’s got more hang-ups than a meat locker. Lol!

  4. CoolDude Says:

    Homegirl, you’re FORTY and acting like this? Not that this guy seems to have it all together but you’re behaving like one of characters in the show Girls. You don’t like him, you just miss having someone giving you attention. Let it be.

    • Eliza Says:

      CoolDude–I agree…that the OP is quite immature for her age…or perhaps she thrives and craves drama? Because for only knowing this guy for this short while – that union is infested with tons of drama. Some people seem to gravitate and/or create this level of drama. And yes, there is something seriously off when a guy OR girl tell you to be their mate on date 1.

  5. D. Says:

    I don’t understand why people try to force relationships to work in such early stages.

    When the dude “tells” you to be his girlfriend on Date 1, that’s when you decide there will not be a Date 2.

    When you’re 4-5 dates in and you’re already having arguments, that’s when you walk away.

    Early on, dating should be easy and fun. It’s later that the whole “relationships take work” thing comes in. If you’re having to work at it when you’re barely a month in, there is zero reason to expect things will improve. Just walk away.

    And as for the whole “he’s not treating me as well as I want,” that’s usually a sign of one of two things:

    1. He’s not really into you.

    2. You’re insecure and need a level of attention/affection that he’s not prepared to give, even though he is interested.

    In either case, you choose to walk away or recalibrate your own desires. You can’t control other people and make them behave the way you want. All you can do is evaluate what you’re getting and decide whether to stay or go. In this case, I have no idea why you’d decide to stay, and this whole thing just sounds exhausting.

  6. Malienation Says:

    I’m not buying it. Something’s wrong here. A guy that dictatorial on the first date isn’t inclined to give up easy, which this guy appears to have done. Guys who behave this way are far more inclined to be possessive stalker types, which this guy does not appear to be. I’m wary about the OP’s story. What aren’t we being told? What’s the nature of these “communication problems”? She’s not being treated right by his “words and gestures”? What the hell’s that mean, exactly?

    And seriously, she’s 40? Jesus.

    • Yvonne Says:

      She didn’t agree with his date one girlfriend mandate and stopped responding to his texts after a handful of dates. When they met up again after a month, she told him she left because she wasn’t happy.

      He didn’t get what he wanted from her and she wasn’t happy. Despite the “nice conversation” and the request for another date, he may have realized that things weren’t working out so well.

      Perhaps he’s a bit unstable (desperate) and now he’s off to find a more agreeable prospect?

      More to the point, what is the incentive for HER to keep seeing him? She sounds pretty iffy about the whole thing anyway.

  7. Steve from the city next door Says:

    I found this letter difficult to read and am wondering if English is not the OP’s primary language. If that is correct some of the subtle’s used to guess at the situation maybe wrong.

    The situation sounds messed up – I can’t tell why – but in any case I think the two should go their separate ways.

    • JayD Says:

      I presume English is your primary language but I found your comment difficult to read.

  8. Lisa Says:

    I think the guys feels as tho he has been played off no less than three times: 1) when she declined his offer of exclusivity on the first date, 2) when she ended things after the fifth date and 3) when she cancelled their date after she was scheduled to be back from her trip (after *he* reached out to her a month following the break up).

    But who knows? There may have been other times and other reasons the guy has felt blown off/played off/put off; we don’t know any more details of what happened btwn them.

    It seems, by his silence, he is telling her the ball is in her court.

    This isn’t a big deal. He has made it clear he is interested but isn’t going to grovel.

    To the letter writer: just call him if you want to see him again.

    • GeekGurl Says:

      Lisa – I think sometimes ‘we’ put our own take on these things, perhaps from our own experience?

      Who has a clue what this guy thinks? He should, but no one else has enough info to make a determination – including, apparently OP – who can’t find big girl thong to even communicate like an adult with this guy.

      “This isn’t a big deal. He has made it clear he is interested but isn’t going to grovel” …really? Generally, ‘by their silence’ people are telling you there is NO ball, NO court ….

      Reads like a train wreck to me …. can’t get past ‘told me to be his girlfriend – on date ONE’ –and she is FORTY? Trix are for kids …. as are ‘girlfriend/boyfriend’ …. and that’s why we are single? :)

      • Lisa Says:

        I’m just going by the info the LW shared. If someone has gotten blown off several times by someone else, it seems somewhat reasonable to guess he is reticent about continuing to make further contact.

        The letter writer wondered why he might not be contacting her and that is my guess.

        I’m not saying it would be a good idea for her to contact him. And I’m not saying he would be a good partner for her.

        Yes, it has been my experience that after I blow someone off repeatedly, he will make less of an effort to contact me.

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